On 2009-Aug-17, at 12:27 pm, Moritz Lenz wrote:
However it seems we have to pay a price: each act of rendering a Pod file actually means executing the program that's being documented (at least the BEGIN blocks and other stuff that happens at compile time), with all the security risks implied. So we'll need a *very* good sandbox. Is that worth it?
Yes. In general, if you've installed a module, it's because you're going to use it, and you already trust it. So this is a problem only if you're looking at the documentation for the first time to decide whether you do want to use the module (and didn't already read the docs on CPAN.org first or something). Of course, CPAN will need a static copy of the docs anyway, so the solution is that authors should provide a static file (preferably in a few formats, at least text and HTML).
Sites like CPAN will probably make a static doc file a requirement, and even the cpan shell could warn users about any modules that don't include static docs -- in fact, I think it would be reasonable to refuse to install such modules by default.